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Monday, February 20, 2012

"Rih al-Khamsin." It was an eerie howl rather than a cry. #Historical Fiction

Khamsin, The Devil Wind of The Nile“Rih al-Khamsin!”

by Inge H. Borg

It was an eerie howl rather than a cry. It multiplied, and it traveled fast. The urgency of the warning sent the inhabitants scurrying. In great haste, children were collected, drinking wells covered, and home sites secured. All against the onslaught of the feared wind whose turbulent airs had gathered strength from far away.

Its father, the Sirocco, was spawned over the hot desert. Before it abandoned its cyclonic origins to reach across the Great Green Sea, clawing its young islands along the way, racing toward the densely forested virgin coast of the primitive Northern Continent, it gave birth to its unbridled son Khamsin, the Devil Wind of the Nile.

This new turbulence then grew into adolescence over the desolate sandy expanses of the great desert, gathering strength and hot dust, reaching merciless maturity as it slammed into the broad Valley of the Nile. With the Khamsin’s arrival, the populace knew to expect accompanying sand storms; and swarms of vermin covered the ground bringing widespread devastation to the already parched land.

Only when the Great Wind’s hot fury was spent, did its evil spirits seem appeased, and the land and its people could breathe anew, and anticipate the life-giving flooding of their river once again.

Just as once again, the principles of Ma’at would be adhered to. It was their cornerstone of all life, of all culture. Its teachings were to suppress all chaos stemming from ones emotions, feelings and reactions. To keep life in absolute order. No deviation was permitted. Those who offended its strict laws were severely punished - often by a cruel death.

But during those enervating days when the incessant wind raged, Ma’at was often breached; usually calm tempers flared; violent crimes were committed. And it was said, that people vanished without a trace.

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